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Club News

REPORT | Rovers 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

9 April 2022

Club News

REPORT | Rovers 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

9 April 2022

Goals from Tommy Rowe and Josh Martin helped Rovers bounce back to winning ways with a 2-0 triumph over Crewe Alexandra.

Both strikes came early in each half and set Rovers on the way to a comfortable victory, which confirmed Crewe’s relegation to Sky Bet League Two.

It could have been even more comfortable for the side however as they had much the better game in attacking terms.

Manager Gary McSheffrey made one change from the side that started the trip to Wycombe Wanderers with Aidan Barlow coming into the team.

Rovers started positively and were camped in the Crewe half in the initial stages.

Matt Smith was first to test opposition keeper Dave Richards after collecting the ball on the edge of the box and firing on goal.

Richards was kept busy early as he batted away a header from Rowe, who powered through two defenders to meet a Kyle Knoyle cross.

After urging his team mates to deliver a fast start when he spoke to the media pre-game, Rowe took up the mantle and gave Rovers the lead after ten minutes.

Picking up the ball 25 yards out, he worked space and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.

There was a lull in proceedings after the goal but Rovers largely remained in control of possession.

Just after the half hour mark, Martin was found in acres of space from a free kick and the Norwich City loanee cut inside before firing on goal, with Billy Sass-Davies blocking with his head.

John Bostock struck the wall with a free kick from the edge of the box but tested Richards with his follow up.

Crewe had their best spell of the half just before the break. After Rovers failed to deal with a bobbling ball in the box, Rekeem Harper struck the post with a curling effort.

And Chris Long was released into the area but drilled over the bar just before the break.

Rovers wasted no time extending their lead in the second half.

It appeared as though the chance had gone after Matt Smith’s low strike was deflected straight at keeper Richards by Billy Sass-Davies. But Martin picked up the loose ball, shifted it into space and rifled a shot high into the net.

Barlow fired over the bar from a decent position, sparking a lively second half performance from the forward.

Just past the hour he carried the ball from inside his own half before drilling narrowly over the bar from a tight angle.

And moments later he was released into the area by Adam Clayton but could not get enough power in his shot to trouble Richards.

Harper drew a good save from Jonathan Mitchell with Crewe's best individual effort of the day, as he met a cross first time with a powerful low drive.

There was another good stop from Mitchell as the game moved into the final ten minutes as Tom Lowery met a cross with a sweetly-struck volley that was heading for the top corner.

Martin was clearly buoyed by his goal and carried the ball with real aggression throughout the second half. He was keen to add to his tally and struck a shot over from the edge of the box after a good run.

Substitute Mipo Odubeko had a great chance to extend the lead in the final minute after Rovers broke two-on-one but his marker recovered well to block his shot.

Rovers: Mitchell, Knoyle (Younger 71), Williams, Olowu, Rowe, Bostock, Clayton, Barlow, Smith (Galbraith 84), Martin, Griffiths (Odubeko 75). Subs not used: Jones, Horton, Gardner, Dodoo.

Bolton: Richards, Offord, Sass-Davies, Billington (Lawton 90+3), Ainley, Lundstram, Lowery, Sambou (Murphy 67), Harper, Mandron (Porter 76), Long. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Finney, Griffiths, Kashket.

Referee: Declan Bourne

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